Bright­ness for breezy days Pen­neys au­tumn/ win­ter col­lec­tion has a grown- up edge

This au­tumn- win­ter col­lec­tion has an edgy, grown- up style, from work­wear to wool­lies, writes Deirdre McQuil­lan

The Irish Times Magazine - - NEWS - Pho­tog­ra­phy: Eil­ish McCormick Stylist: Sinead Keenan as­sisted by Alice Cof­fey Hair: Michael Leong Make- up: Zoe Clarke Model: Emily Muele­mann from Elite The AW17 Pri­mark Col­lec­tion is on sale un­til De­cem­ber

Land­ing right now in Pen­neys’ big­ger stores are some stand­out af­ford­able pieces for au­tumn/ win­ter. No­table this sea­son are the rich tex­tures and colours, tweedy old- school jack­ets, fem­i­nine em­bel­lish­ments of lace, se­quins, em­broi­dery and ev­ery­where you look: the colour red.

“Pen­neys/ Pri­mark im­agery has al­ways gone in a very youth­ful di­rec­tion, but I wanted to take it in a more el­e­vated di­rec­tion, in a more grown- up, pol­ished way for a fash­ion- con­scious work­ing woman,” says lead­ing stylist Sinéad Keenan who put these looks to­gether.

“She’s the per­son who doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily fit the fes­ti­val/ party brief but, par­tic­u­larly in the Ir­ish mar­ket, is some­one who looks for wardrobe sta­ples like denim, trouser suits, tai­lor­ing, out­er­wear and knitwear. My idea was to show all of that and what Pen­neys has to of­fer in a fun way but stylish.”

Key pieces high­lighted at me­dia pre­sen­ta­tions are of­ten harder to find later in the vast­ness of the stores with their dizzy­ing rails of clothes.

“I am not a trend per­son, but there has to be a thread in the story – I don’t like ran­dom fash­ion im­agery . . . When you are sell­ing a life­style, there has to be a hook – like a way with colour in the knitwear – a shot of colour par­tic­u­larly for au­tumn/ win­ter when we get so con­sumed by black, navy and grey. Be­cause it is fun fash­ion, you can make it look grown up,” she says.

Her stylist hand shows in dif­fer­ent ways. The dra­matic ef­fect of the scarf worn with the bell- sleeved coat, for ex­am­ple, was cre­ated by ty­ing two scarves to­gether. Toss­ing a sal­mon- coloured coat over the red trouser suit was a way of mut­ing the ef­fect of the red, par­ing it back. The bold biker jacket gets a fem­i­nine touch with the ad­di­tion of a tulle skirt. A colour­ful over­size sweater dress un­der a tweed jacket could eas­ily be worn, she says, with jeans or leg­gings. Keenan’s i mpres­sive track record speaks for it­self. An in­ter­est in art and de­sign, and a strong love of fash­ion led her to study Fash­ion and Tex­tile De­sign at Coláiste Íde, after which she at­tended NCAD to spe­cialise in fash­ion de­sign. I n 19 9 3 sh e j oined Brown Thomas’s visual mer­chan­dis­ing and dis­play team and she was its in- house fash­ion stylist for nearly 10 years, re­spon­si­ble for the pro­duc­tion and styling of fash­ion shows as well as di­rect­ing and styling the store’s com­mer­cial and ed­i­to­rial fash­ion shoots.

In 2003, she left to spread her wings and to broaden her client list which has in­cluded work­ing with Brown Thomas, Louise Kennedy, Chanel, Peter O’Brien ( for Arnotts), Avoca, Kil­dare Vil­lage and Car­raig Donn to name a few. She has also styled celebri­ties Jodie Kidd, Donna Air and the Corrs for MTV Un­plugged and was a con­tribut­ing stylist on Bri­tain & Ire­land’s Next Top Model.

As to her own style, she says that be­ing a curvier woman, she likes to bal­ance out her own l ook with chunkier s hoes and peg- shaped trousers – usu­ally from Cos.

“I shop around be­cause I don’t fit into a lot, but par­tic­u­larly as you get older, I am con­fi­dent in my de­ci­sions. I know what women would like to see and how Ir­ish women buy so I try to rep­re­sent that – by mix­ing from the high street and else­where – shop­ping broadly.” For this shoot, how­ever, she was clear about what s he wanted t o do: “t o s ee Pen­neys/ Pri­mark in a dif­fer­ent light and not just clothes for night­clubs and fes­ti­vals or shirts for work”.

Op­po­site page: Pink coat ¤ 40, red dou­ble- breasted jacket ¤ 25 Above, from left: Red ruf­fle coat ¤ 40, multi- colour scarf ¤ 8; jumper ¤ 25, vel­vet skirt ¤ 14, boots ¤ 25; faux fur sleeve avi­a­tor jacket ¤ 35, pink mesh over­lay dress ¤ 14, cropped jeans ¤ 19; faux shear­ling coat ¤ 30, one- shoul­der knit ¤ 16, cropped jeans ¤ 19 Left, from far left: Faux fur coat ¤ 45, Fairisle jumper ¤ 18; check coat ¤ 40, colour- block knit­ted dress ¤ 20; ruf­fle coat ¤ 40, colour- block jumper ¤ 18; padded zip- hem parka ¤ 35, cable jumper ¤ 20, se­quin clutch ¤ 12

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